1. Government
January 11, 2016

What would London's unlikely mayoral hopefuls do for transport?

By Barbara Speed

It seems pretty certain that either Sadiq Khan (Labour) or Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) will rule the day in London’s upcoming mayoral election. But there are other candidates standing, too, from parties as diverse as the English Democrats and Ukip, all of whom have their own policy suggestions on how London should be run.

We’ve collected together some of their ideas about the capital’s transport network – even the crackpot ones just in case some are worth salvaging, despite their inevitable defeat. Or just in case they’re worth laughing at. Both are good. 

The Lib Dems would slash early morning prices

 Image: Tysto at Wikimedia Commons.

Caroline Pidgeon, the yellow (or is it orange?) candidate announced this week that the party would offer half price commutes to anyone travelling pre-7:30 am. This isn’t a bad idea, as it comes with two benefits: those in lower-paid professions with early start times, like cleaners, would save; and it may encourage some other commuters to travel earlier, alleviating some of the peak time pressure on the network.

George Galloway would freeze fares 

George Galloway, perennial hat-wearer and candidate for the Respect party, pledged (on Twitter, where else) that he would freeze fares throughout his term. (Sadiq Khan has luckily promised to do the same thing until 2020, so don’t feel you should shift your vote for this reason alone.) 

It’s worth taking this particular pledge with a pinch of salt, however: Boris Jonson promised the same thing, but increased them in line with inflation (or more) every year. 

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Galloway would also let students and “key workers” travel free. 

The Greens want Zone One for everyone

Image: The Green Party.

The Green candidate, Sian Berry, reckons the vast price differences from zone to zone are unfair – especially as the housing crisis are shunting lesser paid Londoners to the outer boroughs. Instead, she’d like to introduce a single-zone system.  

This would be impemented gradually, over almost a decade:

Ukip would scrap stuff

Ukip candidate Peter Whittle recently tweeted that he’d scrap both the dangleway and HS2 were Ukip to take power. Presumably this would only be possible if the party got a footing nationally – the mayor doesn’t actually have the power to cancel the line, which will run between London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. If it were possible, Boris Johnson would probably have done it already  it’s due to run right past his dad’s house. 

The English Democrats, the BNP and Britain First don’t seem that bothered about the transport network

Winston McKenzie, David Furness and Paul Golding seem to have said anything at all about transport policy as yet – they mostly just care about getting the Scots (ED) and “foreigners” (BNP/Britain First) out of the UK. 

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